GNCC Racing

Nathan Kanney Comes Home to Unadilla

Friday, September 19, 2008 | 12:00 AM

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jason Weigandt
[email protected]

World-Traveling Local Racer Returns Home Next Weekend
High Falls' Nathan Kanney set to race cross-country dirt bike event in New Berlin

NEW BERLIN, N.Y. (September 19, 2008)  -- Nathan Kanney makes a living racing dirt bikes off-road, but he knows life on the road all too well. After stops in Italy, Greece and all over the U.S., the 26-year-old High Falls, N.Y. resident will finally race in front of the home crowd again at next weekend's Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series race at Unadilla Valley Sports Center.

The last time Kanney competed in this grueling three-hour event, back in 2006, he won. Following that, he signed a deal to live and race in Europe. Now's he's back in the U.S., preparing for another home-track triumph.

“I'm super pumped to come back to Unadilla,” says Kanney. “This is where I get to see all the people who have helped me get here and race for them.”Â

Nathan Kanney on his Red Bull KTM.

A trio of international riders should provide Kanney's stiffest competition next weekend on Unadilla's unique combination of mud, trails and jumps. Defending GNCC Champion David Knight, from the Isle of Man, U.K., leads the series, followed by New Zealand's Paul Whibley and Australia's Josh Strang. Kanney, fourth in points, hopes the home race kicks off a late-season charge.

“David (Knight) is going back to Europe next year, and I would love to go and beat him before he goes,” explained Kanney. “Now I have a great team behind me, great support, and a great trainer in Steve Hatch, who is also from the area. I'm confident I can do it.”Â

Kanney has conquered the world's best here before. The Unadilla event debuted on the GNCC circuit in 2005, and Kanney logged his first-ever podium finish with second overall behind Finnish legend Juha Salminen, a 12-Time World Enduro Champion. The next year, Kanney managed to top Salminen for the win.

“It was huge to finally get a chance to race in New York, because I've always had to learn all this foreign terrain and soil,” said Kanney of those early battles. “When I race here, I don't need to think about it. I'm so familiar with the terrain, I can just ride.”Â

Last year, Kanney moved to Italy to compete in the World Enduro Series. He rode and trained with the world's best racers, calling last season “college for dirt bikes.” But ultimately, things didn't go as smoothly as he had hoped.

“It didn't go well,” said Kanney. “But even at that, I take it as a positive because I learned so much. I tried to keep an open mind about the whole European experience, and I think I'm a better person and rider for it.”Â

For 2008, Kanney returned to the U.S. racing scene after signing with the powerful Red Bull KTM team. Despite the difficult weather in the winter, he chose to once again base his program in New York.

“There's more to my life than just dirt bikes,” says Kanney. “I like doing the outdoor things I can do in New York, and I like the people in the Northeast. I have to leave in the winter to train, but once the weather turns, this is where I live, and this is where I'll always stay.”Â

The job still takes him out of the country, though. Just two weeks ago, Kanney helped anchor an American team that finished third overall in the World Trophy division of the International Six Days Enduro in Serres, Greece.

“Greece was an amazing experience,” says Kanney. “But I'm glad to finally be back home.”Â

The Can-Am Unadilla GNCC takes place on Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28 at Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, New York. ATVs race on Saturday and bikes race on Sunday, with Youth racing at 8 a.m., novice, utility and women racing at 10 a.m., and pro racing at 1 p.m. each day. Weekend passes, which include full track and pit access, cost $15 for ages seven and up, passes for six and under are free. For more information, scroll to www.gnccracing.comor call 304-284-0084.

About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America's premier off-road racing series. The 13-round championship series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions and has run since 1973. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead over 1,500 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC Racing will air weekly television shows on the Versus network starting August 2. GNCC featured sponsors include Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose Racing, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Grafx, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, Ogio, Rekluse, and MotoTee's. For more information log on to

Following a year of racing in Europe, Kanney returns to his home race looking for another win.